Vikings Offseason Proposal

I decided to map out a proposal for the Vikings' 2024 offseason, including the first wave of free agency and the draft.

Free Agency

From OverTheCap, the Vikings go into the 2024 season with $24,658,132 in cap space, which translates to a projected $19,511,221 in effective cap space after signing our rookie class and getting the roster to 51 guys.

Pre-6/1 Cuts

● S Harrison Smith (Save $11,384,116)
○ Sorry Harry, but the cap space is desperately needed. If we can get him to take a significant pay cut I’d be willing to entertain the conversation of keeping him, but I’d rather say "go onto the market and get yourself a payday that we just can’t give you."
● EDGE Patrick Jones II (Save $1,324,104)
○ Per PFF he finished as the worst graded player on the Vikings defense, with a 37 overall grade on 600+ snaps. Could definitely be replaced.
● QB Nick Mullens (Save $1,855,000)
○ I’m going into this offseason assuming that we’re going to at least be drafting a quarterback somewhere. Whether it be in the first round to replace Kirk or in the mid-rounds as a developmental guy, we can afford to save this cap money and spend it elsewhere.
● RB Myles Gaskin (Save $985,000)
○ Not a huge move, but he didn’t play a single offensive snap for the Vikings in 2023. Use it to sign the rookies.
● DT Harrison Phillips (Save $6,500,000)
○ This one hurts a bit, since he played alright (57.7 overall PFF grade), but we need the money. Plus there are some solid run-stopping D-Linemen in free agency that we can sign for less.

Post-Cut Cap Space

After these cuts, we would end up with $41,559,449 in effective cap space ($46,706,352 total). This gives us a bit of room to maneuver and shore up holes. My general philosophy here is to shore up weaknesses in free agency, allowing me to go "best player available" to an extent in the draft.

Free Agent Signings

● WR Justin Jefferson (4yr, $140m, $15.5m Yr-1)
○ This extension was modeled a bit after the Tyreek Hill and AJ Brown contracts. So he’ll only have a cap number of $15.5m this year, but the cap number gets a bit scary later in the contract. However, by this time the market will adjust and the cap will go up, so it should be more manageable. Plus one void year at the end, because everyone loves those. Oddly enough, by getting JJ off of the 5th-year option, this would lower his cap hit this year by $4,240,000.
● EDGE Danielle Hunter (3yr $67.5m, $22m $9m Yr-1)
○ This was taken straight from AtoZSports1’ free agency projections. Being a back-loaded deal that really kicks in during the 2026 year, this deal would only cost the Vikings an additional $1,543,666 ATC.
● QB Kirk Cousins (2yr $80m, $40m Yr-1)
○ I think this is the best option we have available to us. With the lack of top-to-bottom talent on the defense, I can’t justify moving the capital it would take to trade up to get Williams, Maye or Daniels (who I think go 1-2-3) - and even if we were to try, I don't believe Chicago, Washington or New England would want to part with those picks. Thus, a two-year deal would allow us to fully move on from Kirk and get a succession plan ready before JJ or Hunter’s extensions fully kick in. This would cost an additional $21,750,000 ATC.
● G Dalton Risner (2yr $6.5m, $2.5m Yr-1)
○ Stepping in to be a solid pass-protecting guard (67.4 pass-blocking grade in 2023), keeping him around would help make sure guard isn’t a glaring weakness for the Vikings. Hopefully his run-blocking improves in his second year under KOC.
● EDGE Denico Autry (1yr $9m)
○ Coming off a successful stint with the titans, Autry comes in as a hired-gun pass rusher opposite Hunter. Maybe he can help Davenport when the latter isn’t on IR.
● WR Gabe Davis (3 yrs $37.5m, $6.5m Yr-1)
○ Slotting in as the WR3/Deep Threat behind JJ and Addison, Gabe Davis provides a true field-stretching ability that could help open up the underneath area of the field for JJ and TJ to feast.
● DT Grover Stewart (3yr $27m, $4.5m Yr-1)
○ A run-stopping DT that can eat up double teams, he would essentially replace Phillips for $2m less.

Post Free-Agency Cap Situation

After free agency is all said and done, the Vikings would end up with $8,332,686 in total cap space, which would be plenty enough to sign our rookie class.


● Round 1, Pick 11: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
○ This guy is quickly shooting up draft boards after an excellent Senior Bowl, and there’s a real chance he could end up as a top 15 pick. Excellent skills in off-coverage, the athleticism and feistiness to survive in press, plus a chippy attitude; he’s got everything you want in an elite outside corner.
○ Other Options: Dallas Turner, Cooper DeJean, Jer’Zhan Newton
● Round 2, Pick 42: T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas
○ An absolute monster, he is listed at 6’ 4", 364 lbs and looks every bit of it (and maybe a little more). Likely not an every-down lineman, he still looks absolutely unstoppable as an interior pocket-pusher and could be an excellent rotational pass rusher.
○ Other Options: Jonah Elliss, TJ Tampa, JJ McCarthy
● Round 4, Pick 108: Zak Zinter, G, Michigan
○ Despite going down with a brutal injury late in the season, Zinter enters the draft as a solid guard prospect. Plus, while not a glaring weakness, the Vikings stand to want improvement on the interior offensive line.
○ Other Options: MarShawn Lloyd, Sione Vaki, Michael Hall Jr.
● Round 4, Pick 129: JD Bertrand, LB, Notre Dame
○ Other Options: Max Melton, Jaden Hicks, Blake Fisher
● Round 5, Pick 155: Tyrone Tracey, RB, Purdue
○ Other Options: Cole Bishop, Joe Milton III, Tommy Eichenberg
● Round 5, Pick 164: Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee
○ Other Options: Dylan Laube, Edefuan Ulofoshio, Jaylin Simpson
● Round 6, Pick 178: Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame
○ Other Options: Javion Cohen, Hunter Nourzad, Brennan Jackson
● Round 6, Pick 189: Zion Logue
○ Other Options: Sam Hartman, Zakhari Franklin, Myles Murphy

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.